The flat top grill (AKA Griddle) is one of the most versatile and flexible pieces of cooking equipment anyone can own. Whether you are searing off your favorite cut of meat, grilling a burger, making pancakes, or sautéing some veggies for a healthy side, a flat top grill can be a great addition to your BBQ arsenal.
There are soooo many flat top grills on the market to choose from, so how do you know which griddles are the best. We were able to narrow it down to our favorite six in a couple different categories. For 2023 we felt the Camp Chef 600 Griddle was the best due to it’s interchangeable grill surfaces, overall quality, and optional features like their hinged hood system.
We also provided options for best portable flat top grill, budget friendly, and extra large. Read on and we will explain what makes a great flat top so when you’re ready to purchase, you’ll be confident in what you’re getting.
|Top PickTop PickCamp Chef 600||CHECK PRICE|
|Runner UpRunner UpLoco Cookers 36" Smart Temp||CHECK PRICE|
|Blackstone 4 Burner||CHECK PRICE|
|Honorable MentionHonorable MentionChar Griller Flat Iron 3-Burner||CHECK PRICE|
|ComboComboRoyal Gourmet 4 Burner||CHECK PRICE|
|Best PortableBest PortableBlackstone Table Top||CHECK PRICE|
|Most economicalMost economicalBlackstone 28"||CHECK PRICE|
|Best Large Flat TopBest Large Flat TopCamp Chef 900||CHECK PRICE|
Our Flat Top Grill Top Picks
Here, we compare eight of our favorite flat top grills and discuss their pros and cons. With this information, it can become significantly easier for you to find what you are looking for and get started on your delicious BBQ journey.
1. Camp Chef 600 4-Burner Griddle Review – Top Pick
What We Like…
- Reasonable price, great performance
- Interchangeable grill grates and griddle cooking surface providers cooking flexibility
- Heavy-duty wheels inspire confidence
- Optional Hood Version
- Reliable ignition system
What Makes Us Angry…
Only one year of warranty coverage
Our choice for the best overall flat top grill goes to this workhorse from the reputed house of Camp Chef, a well-known and popular brand in the world of BBQ. Camp Chef has been creating excellent products for the BBQ community since 1990 and their current product portfolio is huge, containing pellet grills, flat top grills, and cast iron cookware.
The focus has always been on a great price-to-performance ratio with practical features and dependable quality and the 600 4-Burner is no exception.
The main cooking area of the Camp Chef 600 4-Burner measures a total of 604 sq. inches, with a dimension of 31×20.5 inches. The propane-powered grill has a nifty feature that can entice you right off the bat: interchangeable cooking surfaces.
If you are looking for a traditional grill that can impart gorgeous grill marks, you can choose the included grill grates while the griddle surface provides you the ability to cook burgers, sides, and a host of other delicious dishes. The cooking surfaces are also pre-seasoned, allowing you to start using this unit immediately without any extra work.
The grill is powered by four burners, each putting out a maximum of 12,000 BTUs for a combined maximum heat output of 48,000 BTUs.
The system of heat dispersion negates hotspots on the cooking area for even, consistent heat, and the built-in electric ignition system can help you get the grill going with one touch. The surface can get hot enough for a quick sear and you can also opt for low and slow for other recipes. The burners can also be individually controlled to create custom heat zones.
The grill employs a dual-shelf open cart design that is great for accessibility and convenience.
The large shelves on each side of the cooking surface fold away for convenient storage and give you ample prepping space to work with. There are also two bottom shelves for easy storage. You can store all your utensils on the cart itself and organize your work without feeling cramped.
Stability is excellent with locking casters on the cart legs. Another solid feature is the ability to adjust your level with griddle and leg levelers so that you always get a flat surface for consistent cooking.
You can easily set up your propane tank with the unit using the built-in propane holder that securely holds your tanks while you use the included hose and regulator to set up your connection. The cleanup system is extensive, featuring a grease management system and a catch bucket. You can also use the griddle levelers to siphon off the grease whenever you need.
Read our full review of the Camp Chef 600 Flat Top here.
2. Loco Cookers 36″ Smart Temp Griddle- Runner Up
What We Like…
- Precision temperature controls ensure the cooktop gets to the temperature you want
- Folding side tables give you plenty of workspace while still allowing for easy storage when you put your flat top grill away
- Cabinet cart that hides your propane tank and gives you extra storage
- Tool hooks and a paper towel holder to keep everything you need at hand and organized
What Makes Us Angry…
- One of the most, if not the most, expensive griddles on the market
- Only one year warranty
For over 25 years, LoCo Cookers has provided quality propane-fueled outdoor boilers and fryers for people to experience low country cooking. Recently, LoCo got into the flat top grill game with their SmartTemp griddles designed to give unparalleled temperature control.
LoCo griddles, including their 36″ model available at Home Depot, come with a built-in lid to help protect the cooking surface from rust. They also sit on a cabinet cart which holds the propane tank and gives you more storage.
The 36″ LoCo griddle has 740 sq. in. of cooking space with three burners heating the flat top. It puts out 46,500 BTUs per hour with the three burners. With temperature control knobs that allow you to increase or decrease the temperature by 25 degrees, you can set up reliable zones for cooking at different temperatures ensuring you aren’t undercooking or burning food.
When you factor in the extra storage, tool hooks, a paper towel holder, and even a trash bag holder, everything you need with a flat top grill is at your fingertips with this LoCo griddle.
The only drawback with the 36″ model is the cost. It’s comparable with well-known introductory level pellet grills. It averages around $400 more than most of the other flat top grills on this list. However, no other griddle offers the degree of temperature control LoCo griddles give you.
If you like the idea of the LoCo griddle’s SmartTemp technology, they do have a two-burner 26″ model that’s around $200 less on their website. It also has all the handy storage options the 26″ model does, so you aren’t sacrificing anything but the cooking space which is 488 sq in.
While LoCo griddles are some of the most expensive flat top grills on the market, the quality and features ensure these are great additions to an outdoor cooking area.
3. Blackstone 1554 4-Burner 36″ Griddle Review
4. Char-Griller Flat Iron 3-Burner Griddle – Worth a Mention
What We Like…
- Large cooking space fueled by plenty of heat
- Folding side shelves to help provide work surfaces while making storage when not using easier
- Collapsible legs for portability at the stadium or camping
- Cart with a full shelf to keep tools near the grill when stored
- Lid helps protect the cooking surface while also helping food cook through properly
What Makes Us Angry…
- Only 1-year Warranty
Char-Griller launched its barrel charcoal grill in 1993 for the public. They continue to produce barrel charcoal grills today to go with a catalog of kettle grills, kamado-style cookers (including the Auto-Kamado, marrying pellet grill-style temperature control with charcoal-fueled kamado grills), gravity-fed charcoal grills, and smokers.
Char-Grills also has the Flat Iron series, its take on the flat top grill. The 3-burner Outdoor Griddle has 520 sq in of cooking space powered by wind guarded burners producing 36,000 BTUs per hour, plenty of space, and plenty of heat to cook whatever you want.
The Flat Iron also has a lid to help protect and extend the life of the grill while also helping trap heat and moisture during cooking to help everything cook through evenly.
Char-Griller made this flat top grill portable, an impressive feat for a griddle of this size. The legs and side table shelves fold and collapse, meaning that you can put this in the back of a truck and take it wherever you want. That means a large flat top grill at the tailgate or at the campground.
5. Royal Gourmet 4-Burner Griddle and Grill Combo Review
6. Blackstone Table Top Griddle Review – Best Portable
What We Like…
- Excellent cooking capabilities in a small package
- Completely portable
- Available in different size variants
- Effective rear grease management system
- Easy to store and carry
- Attractive price
What Makes Us Angry…
- Portable like this may mean too small
- No extra features
For many people, a truly portable flat top grill is indeed one of the most important and powerful tools for a rewarding BBQ experience. With their pedigree and attention to detail, Blackstone has created a truly popular and versatile portable solution with their Table Top Grill.
The diminutive size should not fool you- this is a fully-fledged flat top grill that you can take anywhere and create exciting BBQ delicacies with.
Weighing only 21 pounds, the Blackstone Table Top Grill has a cooking area that measures 17×15.25 inches, giving you a total cooking area of 260 sq. inches. Once you get over the small size, you would quickly understand that you can actually get a lot of food cooked on this little flat top.
The griddle top incorporates a windshield into the design that also keeps things contained while cooking. The interesting design also comes in handy for storage and portability as you can simply store the griddle top upside down over the body.
Powering this small but powerful flat top is a uniquely designed stainless steel burner that is H-shaped. This unique design distributes the heat evenly onto the cooking surface and can create a whopping 12,000 BTUs of heat for such a small unit.
The tough, sturdy construction inspires confidence and the unit packs a punch for its size, being small enough to carry inside a large bag or backpack.
Blackstone has managed to add quite a few more interesting features into this small package. The grill uses propane as fuel and has a mechanism to use 1 pound propane bottles. The piezoelectric ignition system does a good job of getting things started reliably.
The unit is constructed with powder-coated stainless steel and the griddle with rolled steel for maximum durability.
There is also an integrated system of grease management placed in the rear of the unit that collects the grease efficiently, allowing you to just use a paper towel to mop up the top for simple cleaning.
The griddle also prevents flavor leaks and flare-ups, making sure that you have delicious results every time. With the extremely small size of the package, it is truly astounding what you can achieve with this if you plan your cooking the right way and take advantage of the inherent strengths of the product.
The model also comes in 19-inch and 22-inch variants if you are looking for something bigger yet equally portable.
7. Blackstone 28-Inch 2-Burner Review – Best Budget
What We Like…
- Excellent quality of construction
- Compact, portable, foldable design
- Side and bottom shelf for convenient operation
- Reliable electric ignition system
What Makes Us Angry…
- Small Overall area
- Other models offer better features
It is no wonder that our list has so many Blackstone products. This brand has been a mainstay in the market when it comes to flat top grills and once again, our pick for the most economical flat top is the Blackstone 28-inch Outdoor 2-Burner.
This utilitarian grill can provide great results while being reliable, durable, and a solid performer for a great price. If you do not need a very large cooking area, this can be just the choice for you.
The Blackstone 28-inch Outdoor 2-Burner unit provides you with a total of 270 sq. inches of cooking area- a happy medium between some of the smaller, more portable options and the larger, four-burner units that can take up a lot of space. Coming in at 75 lbs., this flat top is maneuverable, easy to use, and can deliver great results with long, reliable service life.
At the heart of the 28-inch lies two stainless steel burner units using the H-shaped construction for even heat output. Each burner can output a maximum of 15,000 BTUs of heat, giving you a total of 30,000 BTUs, more than enough for regular use.
The grill is easy to get started with a battery-powered electric ignition that works like clockwork every time. With two burners that you can control independently, you can easily create two distinct heat zones, making this a versatile option.
The stainless steel construction is complemented well with the foldable, portable design that makes this unit easy to move. Blackstone is always known for its quality of materials and construction and this grill is no exception.
The unit is equipped with two heavy-duty wheels with locking casters that further enhance easy movement while ensuring that the grill remains planted firmly in place while cooking.
The unit comes with a side shelf and a bottom shelf, making sure you have enough room to store all your utensils and tools while having space for prepping your ingredients. One thing that stands out with this grill is the supreme ease with which it can be assembled. Along with the open cart design and the storage options available, convenience is excellent.
The flat top is also a breeze to clean, thanks to the effective grease management system. The built-in grease catcher makes quick work of collecting grease during the cooking process. The unit also has a mounting system for a 20-pound propane tank, keeping it securely attached to the unit for safe operation.
The grill features a black powder-coated steel frame with durable stainless steel burners. The cooktop is made from thick cold-rolled steel for maximum durability. The slim profile and excellent usability, combined with the immensely attractive price, mean that this can well be your first flat top grill.
8. Camp Chef 900 6-Burner Review – Best Large Griddle
What We Like…
- Huge cooking area
- Six powerful burners for adjustable heat zones
- Sturdy construction
- Excellent grease management system
- Ample storage options
- Can be used as griddle or grill
- An affordable purchase
What Makes Us Angry…
- Heavy and hard to move around
- Difficult to assemble
If you are really looking to turn things up and need to cook for very large groups and parties, you need a flat top grill that can provide the heat output and cooking area to make that possible.
That is where the Camp Chef 900 6-Burner flat top grill comes in. Overall, this is the best large flat top grill in our opinion.
The selling point of the Camp Chef 900 is the huge 877 sq. inches cooking surface that is pre-seasoned and non-stick for a convenient cooking experience. Made from cold rolled steel, the cooking surface is tough, durable, and has an integrated splash guard to make sure your food stays on the griddle. This gives you enough space to cook individual dishes for 20 people or more.
You get enamel-coated grill grates and also a griddle, allowing you to switch between them easily depending on your cooking needs. The main griddle has a heat diffuser built into the bottom that prevents cold spots and creates even, consistent heat across the entire cooking surface.
The griddle also has leveling bolts that go well with the cart leg levelers to ensure a truly level cooking surface that prevents food from sliding off.
Powering this behemoth are six stainless steel burners that are covered by grease shields and sit inside a box of powder-coated steel. Three knobs at the front control panel of the grill allow you to control these individually, giving you an incredibly versatile cooking area to work with.
The burners each put out a maximum of 12,000 BTUs of heat, which means that you have a whopping total 72,000 BTUs of heat at your disposal. Needless to say, this can create some very interesting possibilities. The control knowns are durable and connect with the matchless ignition system for easy operation.
The grill makes great use of the open cart design and conveniently gives you two large side shelves and two bottom shelves. While the bottom shelves are great for storage, the side shelves can work perfectly as prepping stations and can also conveniently fold down when you need to store the grill. The grill runs on propane and comes with all the necessary accessories- connectors, regulators, and hoses. A 20-pound tank can be securely attached to the unit for safe operation.
Cleanup is easy with the Camp Chef 900 with a main grease management system in the front and a secondary grease pan that is mounted at the bottom. Any grease flows evenly into these catchers and there are no leaks. The unit even comes with an integrated bottle opener, making it easy for you to catch a cold one while you are cooking.
The unit comes with two large wheels and two heavy-duty swivel locking casters which, combined with the levelers, create a truly stable cooking platform. This is the largest flat top grill Camp Chef makes and the quality of materials and construction is truly amazing, making this a workhorse of a grill that can be a stellar match for large families and parties, and also as a food cart griddle if that is what you are looking for.
Understanding Flat Top Griddles
Before you can pinpoint the right product for your requirements, you need to understand the characteristic properties that make a flat top grill worth its price. Obviously, a good place to start is your use case. The kind of use you want to get out of your flat top can point you in the right direction.
Let us analyze some important characteristic properties regarding flat top grills, so you can see how they relate to your use case.
If your plan is to confine your grilling to your backyard or to cook for large gatherings and parties, a large grill that can cook a lot of food at once can be an automatic choice. However, if you are looking to cook small batches and would want to take your grill out camping from time to time, a smaller, portable option can be much more suited to your needs.
When it comes to portable grills, flat tops are some of the best and most convenient you can find. The right flat top grill can give great portability, a weight that you can manage, and excellent versatile cooking options no matter where you are. However, if you are looking for a larger, non-portable solution, there are great flat top grills in the market that tick all the right boxes too, giving you a large cooking area and the ability to cook large portions for your parties.
Cooking Area and Number of Burners
Following from the earlier point, the available cooking area is one of the most important characteristics you need to look at before deciding on a particular flat top grill. Flat top grills come in small, medium, and large sizes and it all depends on how many people you are planning to cook for regularly. Also, getting a grill that is a little bigger than your needs can serve you well as you would not have to cook in multiple batches if you do, in time, need to cook for a large gathering.
Along with the available cooking area, another important thing to look at is the number of burners at your disposal. Getting a flat top grill with more burners and a higher BTU output gives you the capability to get quick sears, while also giving you different heat zones for more versatile cooking options. Across the available product line, you would likely see many different configurations for burners and BTU ratings. A little careful consideration of your requirements can help you choose the right product.
Choice of Fuel for Griddles
With flat top grills, you get to choose between electric-powered and gas-powered models. This is an important choice and can influence your cooking decisions to a great degree. This can tie in to your needs regarding the mobility and portability of the grill. If you intend to use your flat top grill mostly at home and do not mind it being tethered to an electrical outlet, it can make sense to go for an electric version that is cheap and convenient to run.
However, if you want to take your grill outdoors, you would need to purchase a gas grill that uses propane. While you would need to purchase the fuel separately and maintain all relevant precautions associated with using propane, you would get true portability.
Pre-Seasoning Your Flat Top Griddle
Seasoning is a process that is applied to flat cooking surfaces made from metal so that they transfer heat better and develop non-stick properties. Cast iron pans and flat top grill surfaces are prime candidates for this. The seasoning process involves applying a thin coat of high smoke point, neutral taste cooking oil to the surface and applying high heat to it for a short period of time. This bakes in the later of oil and seasons the surface, while also helping get rid of chemicals and other residues.
While seasoning is a process that you might be able to do yourself quite easily, it is important to know if the flat top grill you are purchasing already comes pre-seasoned. If it does, you can get cooking with it straight away and save time and effort. Otherwise, you would need to learn how to season the cooking surface properly and carry out the process yourself.
We demonstrate seasoning a Camp Chef 600 Flat Top in our how to clean article here.
Last but definitely not least, price is an important consideration when you are planning to purchase a flat top grill. Small tabletop grills can come even within a shoestring budget and get you started on the process of cooking with flat tops. Quality flat tops with larger cooking surfaces and more features can cost more. A professional quality flat top can set you back thousands of dollars.
You can set a budget depending on your needs and take a look at product options within that budget to start with. You can also receive crucial pointers from our product shootout where we compare flat top grills across various price points and suggest the best options.
Best Way to Clean a Flat Top Grill
Keeping your griddle clean can help increase service life. Deposits of food residue and grease can cling on to the flat top surface which needs regular and thorough cleaning because you really don’t want that to happen. Fortunately, you can easily accomplish this with the right tools. Read our full tutorial on cleaning a flat top here.
To thoroughly clean the surface of your flat top grill, heat the grill to about 300 degrees and scrape the surface down with a griddle scraper. This gets rid of most of the deposits and debris. Then, pour hot water on the grill surface to loosen up the built-up grease. Next, put together your cleaning kit by attaching your griddle pad and screen to your scrub holder and thoroughly scrub the entire cooking surface of your flat top. It is ideal to do this while the surface is still warm.
You can follow up with a stainless cleaner product, which you can apply with a rag. Once cleaning is done, you would need to season the surface once again before you can start cooking. This is the best way to clean a flat top grill, keep it clean, and enhance its service life.
Flat Top Grill Recipe Ideas
A flat top grill is a versatile tool that allows for many different kinds of recipes and allows you flaunt your creative side when it comes to cooking. Here are a couple of ideas you can try as a starting point.
Smash burgers are delicious and coincide with a flat top like a ball and a glove do. Get your ground meat of choice, season with pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and your favorite herbs. Roll into the size of a golf ball and place on the grill. Then, you can smash the patty flat using two crossed-over spatulas. Cook, turn, and place a slice of cheese on top. While the burger cooks through, you can use another heat zone on the grill to caramelize some onions in butter for a sensational topping and also heat your burger buns through.
Lean meats and seafood can also be great cooked on a flat top. Simply season and place on the flat top with a little oil. Control the heat to achieve the right amount of doneness.
The versatility of the flat top means that you can also whip up a variety of sides and other dishes. Pancakes, bacon, eggs, veggies, and a host of other recipes can come to life if you have a flat top at your disposal.
Our Favorite Flat Top Griddle
All of these flat top grills are quality offerings, but we recommend the Camp Chef 600 Flat Top. Versatility means a lot when we are cooking, and the 600 provides this with their interchangeable flat top griddle to grill grate option. You could literally use this as a replacement to your traditional gas grill. Camp Chef even offers a lid option of their flat top, that you can see below.
Hope you found our review helpful. What are your thoughts? Comment below.
Q: What are flat top grills made of?
A: Steel is one of the most common materials used to make residential flat top grills. A number of the grills on this list use cold-rolled steel, which resists deformation and is stronger and harder than hot-rolled steel.
Q: How do flat top grills work?
A: These flat top grills use propane burners to heat the flat steel surface to cook food. The flat surface helps spread the heat evenly, preventing hot spots that lead to burning. It allows the user to cook all types of food on the same surface, whether searing smashburgers or cooking a breakfast of eggs and pancakes.
Q: How to clean a flat top grill?
A: If you have a flat top grill or are considering purchasing one, you want to know how to properly take care of it. We will have a full breakdown of how to take care of your griddle, whether it’s normal care or even if the cooking surface has rusted.
Q: How to season a griddle?
A: Arguably the most important part of using a griddle or flat top grill is properly seasoning the cooking surface. Seasoning the flat top grill creates and maintains the non-stick cooking surface. That is also covered in our article on how to clean a flat top grill.